The Fundamental Features and Functions of a Geothermal Heat Pump

What most homeowners say they appreciate best about a geothermal heating and cooling system is that it has so few moving parts. There’s just that much less that can go wrong– that much less to keep up. And that by itself plays a significant role in decreasing the overall energy costs of Manhattan homeowners who’ve gone geothermal.


Still, there are some moving parts in the system. the better part of them are found in its most critical component, too: the geothermal heat pump.

This is the system’s powerplant. Its purpose is to transfer heat. And it transfers heat either from the ground into your house or from your house into the ground, depending on seasonal temperatures. In Consequence, it’s a furnace and an air conditioner rolled into one compact package.

What, then, does a heat pump use to transfer heat? Water! Well, that or a solution containing antifreeze. This liquid flows through loops of underground pipes to which the heat pump is linked above ground. During heating season the liquid draws heat from the ground, the heat pump draws the warm liquid up into refrigerant coils, and the heat is then is dispensed throughout a home by either a forced air or a hydronic system. During cooling season the exact opposite happens: the pump draws heat from your home and transfers it to the ground through those same buried loops. Oh, and somewhere along the way, lots of geothermal systems also provide domestic hot water.

The essential difference between a geothermal heat pump and a common furnace is that a heat pump doesn’t ignite fuel to generate heat. No, indeed, it takes heat that’s already there and just moves it around. That naturally makes it a much more efficient heating and cooling system. Bear this in mind, too: underground temperatures almost always hold at around 50º F all year long. And that means? A geothermal heating and cooling system requires significantly less energy to cool your home than traditional air conditioners.

So … is a geothermal system right for your Manhattan home? See this region’s geothermal experts, the cordial folks at Carlson Heating & AC, LLC.